Research Article: An Association between Air Pollution and Daily Outpatient Visits for Respiratory Disease in a Heavy Industry Area

Date Published: October 25, 2013

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Kuo-Ying Wang, Tang-Tat Chau, Malcolm Gracie Semple.

http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0075220

Abstract

In this work we used daily outpatient data from the Landseed Hospital in a heavily industrial area in northern Taiwan to study the associations between daily outpatient visits and air pollution in the context of a heavily polluted atmospheric environment in Chung-Li area during the period 2007–2011. We test the normality of each data set, control for the confounding factors, and calculate correlation coefficient between the outpatient visits and air pollution and meteorology, and use multiple linear regression analysis to seek significance of these associations. Our results show that temperature and relative humidity tend to be negatively associated with respiratory diseases. NO and are two main air pollutants that are positively associated with respiratory diseases, followed by , , , CO, and . Young outpatients (age 0–15 years) are most sensitive to changing air pollution and meteorology factors, followed by the eldest (age 66 years) and age 16–65 years of outpatients. Outpatients for COPD diseases are most sensitive to air pollution and meteorology factors, followed by allergic rhinitis, asthma, and pneumonia diseases. In the context of sex difference to air pollution and meteorological factors, male outpatients are more sensitive than female outpatients in the 16–65 age groups, while female outpatients are more sensitive than male outpatients in the young 0–15 age groups and in the eldest age groups. In total, female outpatients are more sensitive to air pollution and meteorological factors than male outpatients.

Partial Text

Taiwan contains high density of industrial factories using fossil fuel as a main source of energy to power Taiwan’s economy [1]. As such, the air above Taiwan naturally contains heavy emissions from both industrial processes and mobile use every day. The air is polluted [2], [3]. The industrial fruit is explicitly counted as the shining figures of significant gross industrial output every year. However, the air pollutants suspended in the air affect people who live in the county and the outcomes of polluted air on public health remains to be quantified. [4]. The cost of air pollution on human health needs to be counted as well so as to give a more balance picture of short-term fossil-fuel burning economy fruit with respect to the long-term impact on public health [5]. After all, the main motivation for the economy growth is for the long-term and sustainable welfare of the society. What will be the human health cost reflected in these waxing and waning of transient industrial figures?

Taiwan contains high density of industrial factories, polluted air, and a comprehensive National Health Insurance program that covers population and contracted 92.1 of all hospitals and clinics in Taiwan. In this work we used outpatient data from a hospital in a heavily industrial area in Taiwan to study the association between public health and air pollution in the context of a heavily polluted atmospheric environment during the period 2007–2011. We used hospital visit data from the Landseed Hospital, and air pollution and meteorological data from EPA to study the association between air pollution levels, meteorology, and hospital visit frequency for the period 2007–2011 over Chung-Li area. We test the normality of each data set, control for the confounding factors, and calculate correlation coefficient between the outpatient visits and air pollution and meteorology, and use multiple linear regression analysis to seek significance of these associations.

 

Source:

http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0075220